Social cohesion, violence and education in South Africa

Sayed, Yusuf, Badroodien, Azeem, Hanaya, Akiko and Rodríguez, Diana (2017) Social cohesion, violence and education in South Africa. In: Seedat, Mohamed, Suffla, Shahnaaz and Christie, Daniel J (eds.) Enlarging the scope of peace psychology: African and world-regional contributions. Peace Psychology Book Series . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 239-254. ISBN 9783319452890

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The chapter explores how education and teachers are conceptualised within policymaking in relation to building social cohesion in South Africa. More specifically, it considers the intended educational goals of social cohesion initiatives, its value in schools in reducing societal conflict, and its objective to foster enduring forms of social justice and peace in everyday life. On the one hand, teachers play key roles in influencing the personal identities of learners, as well as the development of their values of respect and tolerance. On the other hand, their contribution is shaped by the ways in which structural inequalities, including the distribution of education opportunities, influence what they are able to do as teachers. The chapter asserts that to restore trust and build durable peace and social cohesion, and to stem violence and conflict in society, it is important to provide equal access to quality education, where teachers act as key agents of change. It is argued that education policies and programmes can contribute to greater social cohesion when they promote redistribution (equity), recognition (of diversity), representation (engagement), and reconciliation (dealing with grievances, injustice, and legacies of conflict). Through analyses of policies on social cohesion and education, the chapter considers the implications of social cohesion initiatives for teachers and for the provision of equitable quality education in South Africa.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 15:38
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 02:00

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